Letícia Godoy is a photographer based in São Paulo, Brazil. As one of supporters on Kickstarter, she now enjoys using the new Petzval Lens for her work. After sharing some shots that she took with the Petzval lens, she graciously granted our request for an interview, and gladly answered our questions. Read on to learn about Letícia Godoy and her experience with the Lomography x Zenit new Petzval Lens.
Hi Leticia, please tell us about yourself and what you do.
I was born in a small town in the state of Rio de Janeiro / Brazil. I’m 29 years old and about 11 years ago I moved to São Paulo with the energy and curiosity of a country girl to work in the big city. I’m fascinated by simple stories in the world of cinema, dining after midnight and also love the tranquility that old jazz music gives to my soul. I’m a geek gadgets natural lover (and that’s all I’m gonna talk about this matter). :)
How and when did you get into photography?
When I was a kid, I used to draw more than I spoke, in adolescence I presented the school work in the best style of MTV videos and when I grew up I worked for years editing educational videos for the Discipline of Telemedicine in USP Medical School, in addition to learning and understanding every diagnosis conducted by House in each TV episode (LOL). It was there that I met professionals: filmmakers, journalists and writers that were the basis of my training at that time. You see, I have no academic title and they were my first real contact with cinema. My boss at USP always said that I was too stubborn (I prefer the term “patient” though) in wanting to compose the right frame and to adjust the right color of the light while we were recording a delicate surgery: “You should be a photographer”, he said. It was just a year later (after I left USP) that I understood that he was right after all, and video was just a bridge that I took to find my way into photography.
What are your favorite cameras, accessories and/or film for taking photos?
When it comes to film I did one of my favorite photo shoots in New York City with an LC-A Camera using Ilford HP5 Plus, Black and White Print Film. Also I think Canon Mark III just has a very good clear image and it’s better to capture light compared to others HDSLR that I’ve used. Sometimes I use a Crystal Prism in front of the lens, just like the one you see in the cover of “Dark Side of the Moon” album, it helps me to conduct a different kind of light, very useful in natural day light or stage lighting as well. I love Hoya 8-layer HD Filter Polarizer, I wish I could have a whole bunch of filters for all my lenses.
Why did you decide to get the Lomography Petzval lens?
On one of my trips to New York I found an old lens, a Canon ’60s in a flea market, I fell for that old look so badly and started collecting old lenses whenever I had the chance. When I read about The New Petzval on Kickstater I knew it would be something amazing and unique and it did not take more than 2 seconds for me to decide to join.
Can you recall what your first reaction was when you first received and opened the package? Please share if you do remember.
When it comes to a delicate lens as the new Petzval, everything is in the details and that was exactly what I found when I opened the package for the first time.
What is your favorite Petzval and camera set-up?
When I photograph a concert, I like to use Mark III, because it’s a camera that can support me to work with the best light setting. When it comes to Petzval, I use f/2.8 octagon shape with very high speed, up to a maximum of 800 ISO. I don’t use f/2.2 because it’s too hard to get focus in a live concert.
Please share with us your first experience with the new Petzval lens. Any difficulties or memorable incidents you experienced?
The first time I decided to use the New Petzval lens at a live concert, I was both excited and terrified, it was my job and I was trying to play with my new toy…But as you know I’m very curious, so I had to try. I used Mark II with Petzval and for life saving I set up a Canon 24-200mm f/2.8 on Mark III. When the concert started I was so fascinated with the story that Petzval allowed me to tell as I was photographing those artists that I completely forgot that I had a backup camera, well, I didn’t forget about it, the additional camera was too heavy not to remember it, but I didn’t use it after all. :)
Please share with us your favorite photo so far amongst your Petzval shots. And tell us the story behind it.
In a live concert is not so difficult to compose a photo, because you’re limited to a single fixed environment and shooting positions (depending on the stage of every concert)… The difficulty lies in composing the right frame and moment while the entire band is aligned in a single feeling. And this picture was a matter of milliseconds between a smile, a high note in the song and the manual focus of Petzval lens. It’s almost like you can listen to the music in this photo, at least for me.
What do you like most about the new Petzval Lens?
The new Petzval lens is the face of everything I photograph for MIS: art exhibitions, cultural events, concerts and so on …Petzval lens allows me to better tell the story of the environment where I work. And of course, it’s a Golden beauty; it is natural to have to explain more than 10 times per event to several curious visitors. It’s fun and you get to meet a lot of nice people because of it. :)
What is most challenging about using the new Petzval lens? How were you able to work around it?
Shooting live concerts with Petzval is not easy because of manual focus, you may also need additional practice as a photographer in those events to make it right. But a cool thing that I do when I have an environment with a subject that I can control, is to set the camera to video, put zoom and adjust the right focus on camera’s LCD screen, then go back to photo setting.
What photo opportunities or projects would you like to use the Petzval lens for?
I am very curious to see how Petzval would look underwater with many fish around. #Justsaying.
If you haven’t used the Petzval lens with an analogue camera, do you think you’d ever use a film camera with it?
Definitely! I have an eternal love for film grain. It should never go out of style, I think every photographer should take the Jedi Path of film photography.
Any tips or advice for current and future Lomography Petzval lens users?
Maybe you take a day, two or up to five days to get the hang of photographing with the new Petzval lens, but once you understand the focal length of the lens and the sensitivity of focus, everything else becomes easier. There’s no better way than demand more from yourself and practice.
Any upcoming projects?
I recently photographed Arnaldo Antunes concert for MIS. He’s a very important musician to the history of Brazilian music, so it was a personal achievement as a photographer. In addition to the events that the Museum will now promote in April, just as “Cinematographo: a David Bowie Special” with Miranda Kassin and Andrew Frateschi’s band. Later in May I will travel to central Africa to document an important project of an NGO that seeks the definitive treatment for drug addiction called “Project Heal”, and of course, the Petzval lens will be in the suitcase.
Please share links our readers should go to if they want to see more of your work.
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“Brazilian photographer documents David Bowie tribute concert with the new Petzval Lens ":http://www.lomography.com/magazine/news/2014/03/21/brazilian-photographer-documents-david-bowie-tribute-concert-with-the-new-petzval-lens